Social Stratification In The 1920s

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The 1920s witnessed the betrayal of these ideals underlying the American Dream. The Jazz age generation ignored Franklin’s concern for moral betterment and public service, while embracing his emphasis on material advancement. This period also witnessed the degradation of Jefferson’s ideal of equality in its renewal of racism and anti-immigration laws. With the American Economy, capitalism created a sharp division of society into lower class and a leisure class, controlling the economy and practicing conspicuous consumption.
Moreover, the ideal individualism, which for Emerson had meant creating the conditions for spiritual perfection, was distorted into a rationalization for every kind of exploitation and self indulgence. Many of these characteristics
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The social strata are not fixed, but are fluid and changing. No society existing today is entirely without stratification.

America’s stratification is neither a caste system, in which lifetime rank is rigidly fixed by individuals’ social status at birth, nor an estate system, in which status depends on control of land and on occupation. Although it exhibits some characteristics of birth, the American system of social stratification is an “open-class society” a society characterised by great individual mobility from one social stratum to another.

Americans also hold idea that theirs is a “classless” society. Derived from revolutionary ideas in Europe and shaped by American dislike for special privilege based on birth or rank, this classless notion had denied culturally derived differences based on caste or inheritance but extolled differences in status based on ability and achievement. This concept of classless men obscures the fact that blurred and non-rigid stratification lines based on achievement and wealth, position and power, do exist in America. Sociologists generally divide American society into three strata or class: Upper class, middle class and lower class. Frequently they make gradations within these three
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